Using cloud storage for data backup has become a critical component of business continuity. Although many businesses debate the pros and cons of on-premises vs. cloud storage, these data storage options don’t always ensure data authenticity. That’s where immutable storage comes in.
In this blog, we’ll go over how immutable storage works and how it can protect stored data from being corrupted, lost, or accidentally deleted.
Having a reliable data backup is vital for any business, particularly if your organization handles critical or sensitive data like customer payment information or health records. Unfortunately, although data backups are intended to protect your necessary files from being lost or corrupted, they aren’t invulnerable. So what happens if a security breach impacts the data backup itself?
In computing, an immutable object cannot be changed or modified after being created. Likewise, immutable storage means that this data cannot be changed or deleted in a data storage context. As a result, immutable storage can be used in many applications to protect your most important files from being altered, deleted, or tampered with. Ultimately, immutable storage offers the highest data protection for your business.
Immutable storage is the ideal solution when you need to ensure that your data can’t ever be altered or erased. While one of the selling points of cloud storage is that data is more accessible from multiple devices, that does introduce some risk to the data. Data recovery might not always be possible if your systems are compromised.
Since typical data security protocols like file permissions can be circumvented, they are not entirely secure. However, data permanence is an integral part of immutable storage. When you choose to create an immutable backup, the data is stored in a write-once-read-many format so that it cannot be changed, edited, or overwritten.
Because files in immutable storage are read-only, they are impervious to loss, accidental deletion, corruption, cyberattacks, and other issues that can compromise your data. Essentially, immutable storage provides foolproof data recovery for your most important files.
Some immutable storage providers allow you to set immutability for a specific time. In these cases, the data will be preserved in its original form until that period ends, after which you will be able to update or delete the files as needed.
Immutable storage can be implemented in any industry to protect critical data from modification or deletion. Below are four of the biggest benefits of using immutable storage to secure your files:
Data backups have become a hot topic as cyberattacks have increased in frequency. Recent research has shown that ransomware attacks can be incredibly expensive. The average cost of recovering from a ransomware attack, including downtime, ransom paid, and lost business, is $1.85 million.
However, immutable storage can help you avoid the stress and costs of ransomware and other cyberattacks by protecting your files from hackers and other bad actors.
Even if you train your employees to save and back up your data regularly, human error and equipment failure are almost inevitable. When many employees regularly access sensitive files, the risk for accidental deletion or modification is even greater.
Rather than risk losing your critical data, you can use immutable storage to ensure that important files cannot be accidentally deleted or overwritten. You can also set a defined period for the immutability to expire if you need to review or update these files.
Immutable storage ensures that your data is accurate and prevents tampering, which many regulatory bodies focus on. In addition, immutable storage can preserve the integrity of files such as video surveillance footage, log files, historical analytics data, and digital evidence.
Along with protecting your important files from loss or theft, immutable storage can help your business comply with regulatory requirements for storing sensitive data like payment information and health records.
Immutable storage can be a useful data backup option for any organization, but some industries need to preserve the integrity of their files even more than others.
For example, in addition to protecting information, industries with data retention policies must follow strict guidelines regarding how long you should archive data. Below are some use cases for immutable storage.
Law enforcement agencies typically store huge volumes of video and audio surveillance data, which are crucial for cases and trials. By using immutable storage to guarantee the authenticity of this data, these organizations can ensure that the files can be used as evidence in the judiciary process.
Any organization that handles healthcare data like patient records knows how important it is to safeguard this information. These files are essential for the everyday operations of a healthcare organization, but they must also be protected appropriately to comply with regulatory requirements like HIPAA.
Organizations that use and store financial information are often the target of cyberattacks. Immutable storage ensures that hackers cannot steal sensitive data like credit card numbers, addresses, and Social Security numbers.
Additionally, many financial institutions must comply with SEC regulations that require electronically stored information to be stored in a write-once-read-many format, which immutable storage can provide.
Immutable storage can reliably back up your critical files to ensure they are never lost, modified, or deleted if your systems are compromised. If you think immutable storage might be the right fit for your business, Helixstorm can help.
At Helixstorm, we provide our clients with a complete set of technical resources to help them solve immediate challenges and plan for the future. From managed services, 24/7 monitoring and help desk support to data storage management, our team of experts can work with you to create a technology roadmap with your business goals in mind.
To learn more, contact us today.